Coronavirus hits Ascot Racecourse Champions Day prize money
ASCOT – The total prize money for this year's season-ending British Champions Day at Ascot race course has been cut by about 40%, to £2.5 million ($3.28 million), due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Britain's richest race-day, which will be held on Oct. 17, paid out a total of £4.2 million in prize money last year.
This year's Champion Stakes, the biggest race of the day, will be run for £750,000, down from more than £1.3 million last year.
"We are pleased to be able to stage a card worth £2.5 million... despite our income streams being so negatively affected and the enormous challenges facing the sport currently," chief executive Rod Street said in a statement.
The prize purses for all the races on the supporting card have also fallen, although the event has managed to retain its position as the richest race-day in the UK.
The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes will be run for £650,000, down from £1.1 million last year, while the prize money for the Fillies and Mares Stakes and Champions Sprint Stakes has shrunk 36%, to £350,000, this year.
The Long Distance Cup and Balmoral will be run for £300,000 and £100,000, down from £450,000 and £250,000, respectively, last year.
Horse racing returned to Britain on June 1 without spectators after being suspended in mid-March due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
It was not immediately clear if some fans would be allowed to attend this year's event.